Hours Worked

Employees must be paid for all of the hours that they are required to be on the employer's premises, on duty or at a prescribed work place.

Waiting Time: Generally, the facts may show that the employee was engaged to wait (which is work time) or the facts may show that the employee was waiting to be engaged (which is not work time).

On-Call Time: An employee who is required to remain on call on the employer's premises is working while "on call." An employee who is required to remain on call at home, or who is allowed to leave a message where he/she can be reached, is not working (in most cases) while on call.

Rest Periods/Meal Breaks: Rest periods of short duration, usually 20 minutes or less, must be counted as hours worked. Meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) generally need not be compensated as work time. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating his/her meal.

Sleeping Time: An employee who is required to be on duty for less than 24 hours is working even though he/she is permitted to sleep. An employee required to be on duty for 24 hours or more may agree with the employer to exclude regularly scheduled sleeping periods of not more than 8 hours. No reduction is permitted unless at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep is taken.

Travel Time: Whether time spent in travel is compensable time depends upon the kind of travel involved. An employee who travels from home before the regular workday and returns to his/her home at the end of the workday is not working.

Donning and Doffing: An employer generally does not have to pay for time spent "changing clothes or washing at the beginning or end of each workday." Time spent putting on, taking off and cleaning an employee's protective equipment, however, may be considered as work time.

If you have any questions or need more information concerning your specific wage and hour issues, please call us at (914) 949-2700 or use our email form to get in touch with New York Labor and Employment Attorneys.